Power cuts nearly had us dancing in the dark over Christmas.
I had a rather rude awakening the other morning.
As the vicious winds noisily whirled outside, I blearily awoke and wondered what time it was.
Peering myopically at my bedside alarm clock, I eventually made out the time after practically pushing my nose against the screen.
I shot out of bed in a blind panic yelling at husband Keith to get up as I saw the blinking light taunting me with the time of 10:03am.
“Wake up, wake up!” I shouted. “Why didn’t our alarm clocks go off? It’s 10 O’Clock!”
As I simultaneously tried to rip off my pyjamas and run to the bathroom to brush my teeth, I hazily wondered why work hadn’t called to see where I was.
I was also a bit puzzled as to why a) our children hadn’t been in to wake us up and b) why hubby didn’t seem more disturbed at the late time considering he usually starts work just after 7am.
“What are you going on about” he asked, remaining snugly under the duvet. “Have you seen the time?”! I demanded angrily.
“Yes, what about it?” was his unconcerned reply.
I grabbed my glasses, put them on and looked over to the alarm clock on my husband’s side of the bed and saw it said 5:45am.
“But, but ...” I spluttered gazing back at my own clock which displayed 10:07am.
Then I remembered. Ah yes, the power cut that happened a few days ago. I had forgotten to re-set my alarm clock.
Sheepishly, I got back into bed. But of course by this point, I was wide awake.
Power cuts are a curious phenomenon in this country, but look to become a more regular occurrence as experts warn that reserve supplies of electricity are running dangerously low.
However, similar to when we experience extreme weather in the UK, we just aren’t prepared for and when blackouts do strike, it’s panic stations.
We fell victim to a power cut some days ago when almost 4,000 homes in Penwortham were engulfed in darkness and I have to confess, I didn’t handle it too well as the timing wasn’t great.
We had invited some friends round for a gathering over the seasonal break.
After getting home from work, I swung into preparations and after tidying the house, I went to get showered and ready while hubby took over beautifying the house.
Our guests were due at 7:30pm and at about 6:50pm, hubby and I were just congratulating ourselves on how on top of things we were as we began sorting out the party food we had bought and started ripping open packs ready to load on to baking trays.
Hubby was just about to stick the first batch in the oven while I went to carry out the important task of getting the wine glasses.
That’s when it happened.
There was a flicker and suddenly, the house was in darkness.
After a few seconds, the lights came back on, but just as we were breathing a sigh of relief, off they went again.
Stumbling to the window, we saw all the homes around us were also in total blackness and a cacophony of burglar alarms were screeching.
Sounding like Victor Meldrew, I kept saying: “I don’t believe it! What awful timing!”
I despaired at the thought of all the food we needed to cook before our guests arrived.
True to the saying: “You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone”, we realised how reliant we had become on flicking a switch for instant light.
As the minutes passed, we realised the lights weren’t going to return in a hurry and we discovered how ill-prepared we were as we desperately tried to find torches and candles.
The house became noticeably cooler as the central heating had also gone off, so we thanked our stars for having a gas fire.
Our guests arrived giggling and holding their own torches and we huddled in the living room feeling like we were in the Blitz.
We prepared for a night of wine and crisps...and then there was light.